Keeping your camera lenses free from dirt and debris is an important – but often overlooked – part of any security plan.
Installing a video surveillance system at your business or worksite can help keep your equipment, tools, and staff safe. It secures your property from thieves and vandals and lets you keep tabs on your business around the clock.
Unfortunately, one thing many business owners forget is that after installing your video cameras, you still have to maintain the system to ensure it continues functioning at optimal levels. Among other things, this maintenance involves cleaning your cameras and lenses every three or four months to remove dirt and debris and keep your picture clear.
There’s a bit of a process you’ll need to follow when cleaning your cameras to prevent damage. Here’s what you need to know.
Why cleaning your security camera lens is necessary
Camera cleaning is an essential piece of any security strategy because it ensures you don’t miss a thing when viewing your video feed. Dirt and grime can block your view as you use your system and throw its autofocus off, leaving you with a blurry image. Consistent cleaning also becomes more necessary in certain situations.
For instance, if your equipment yard or job site isn’t paved, a significant amount of dust can accumulate on the camera lens as it blows around the property. Cleaning this dust off the camera is the only way to ensure that it doesn’t hinder the equipment’s performance.
Weather is another factor to consider if you have outdoor cameras. If you live in a colder climate, for instance, you may need to clear your cameras of snow and ice multiple times per winter. And rain can turn dust and dirt into mud that completely blocks your camera lens.
Of course, indoor cameras require maintenance, too, as everyday dust can build up over time and obscure the lens. Regularly cleaning this equipment ensures these contaminants don’t reduce your security system’s effectiveness in protecting your business.
Materials you’ll need
The good news is that while security camera cleaning is a bit of a hassle, you won’t have to spend a fortune on specialized tools. You can pick up most of the supplies from a hardware store, and they won’t break the bank.
Perhaps the easiest way to clean your security cameras is by using a compressed air can. This air removes dust and other light debris, and you won’t have to worry about leaving fingerprints on the lens because you won’t have to touch it.
Another item you should invest in is a microfiber cloth. Some stuck-on debris will require physical removal, but a microfiber cloth won’t scratch the lens. A soft brush could also be necessary to remove dirt from a crevice.
Finally, you could need a ladder, water, and mild dish detergent for your security camera lenses. The ladder allows you to reach elevated cameras, while the water and soap are for use with the microfiber cloth. Optical lens cleaner solutions are also available, but make sure your chosen product is safe for plastic camera casings before you begin.
Cleaning each camera will take time, especially if you have a large commercial property with multiple cameras. However, it will be worth the effort because of the protection these systems offer your business.
Five steps for cleaning a camera lens
Cleaning a security camera lens is straightforward, but you’ll want to ensure you handle the job correctly. Following a foolproof step-by-step process prevents you from taking risks that could damage your equipment. Steps to follow include:
1) Shut off the breaker – The first thing you’ll do before cleaning your security cameras is shut off the breaker that’s powering them. This limits your chances of injury and protects the camera from damage. If your camera is a remote battery-powered unit, you can turn the device off before proceeding.
2) Clean with compressed air – Your compressed air canister provides the safest way to clean your security cameras because you won’t have to touch the lens. Just remember to keep the can a fair distance from the camera while using it. Otherwise, you could push more debris toward it, which could cause scratching.
3) Use a brush or cloth – The next step is to use your brush or microfiber cloth to remove more stubborn debris from the outside of the camera. You might dampen your cloth with water or a cleaning solution to provide better cleaning power.
4) Open the housing and clean inside – Once the outside of the camera is clean, you can open it up and clean the inside of the lens. There’s unlikely to be much debris inside the casing, but it’s a good idea to clean it periodically nonetheless because dust can get into the unit.
5) Inspect for insects – Inspect the inside of the unit for damage from insects, birds, or rodents. Animals can sometimes infiltrate a surveillance camera and lay eggs, leading to deterioration. Early identification of these issues allows you to call an exterminator before the problem worsens.
These steps can help you clean and maintain your security cameras without worry. The result is a better functioning system and peace of mind as you trust your camera to help protect your business.
Installing a security system
Selecting the right security system for your business can help secure your assets. Going with monitored video surveillance puts eyes on your property when no one is on-site, limiting the damage thieves and vandals can do.
Mobile Video Guard offers monitored video surveillance services to businesses of all sizes. We can recommend the right system to meet your needs, providing peace of mind around the clock. Contact Mobile Video Guard to learn more or for additional information on how to clean your security camera and lens.